Every year on the 14th of February, we celebrate the special relationships we share with friends, family and significant others. In the weeks leading up to the most romantic day of the year, we shower loved ones with greeting cards, boxes of chocolates and dozens of red, pink and white roses. It's a wonderful time of year, and it's that much better when your home is decorated for the holiday! From a flower arrangement in your master bathroom that you can enjoy privately, to a wreath on the front door that will welcome guests into your home, Valentine's Day décor adds a pop of color to the gray days of winter.
In the past, you might have considered your box of chocolates and scattered rose petals noteworthy Valentine's Day decorations, but this year, we encourage you to get in the way of Cupid's bow and arrow. Try something new, and craft a pair of topiaries to flank your front entryway. Grab your kids, scissors and construction paper, and make a red, white and pink heart garland to hang along the mantle. We'll explain how you can put that artificial Christmas tree to good use if you haven't taken it down yet, and we'll show you how to spruce up everyday household décor just in time for the most romantic holiday of the year.
To help inspire you this February, here are 10 Valentine's Day decoration ideas and projects sure to spread the love inside your home.
10: Dress up a Boring Chandelier and Dining Nook
Most people have a chandelier hanging over their kitchen or dining room table, and usually this fixture is dusty, ignored and in need a holiday makeover. This Valentine's Day, spruce up your chandelier with ribbons and a few trinkets. Visit your local crafts store or upscale paper boutique, and choose various ribbons in cheery patterns and textures. If you want to achieve a vintage look, collect antique lace and ribbon by visiting online auction sites or thrift shops. Cut the ribbons different lengths, and hang them from the arms of your chandelier. At the bottom of each ribbon, suspend Valentine cards, ceramic hearts or cupid figurines tied in fluffy bows. You can also revive your dining nook and make a floral statement by hanging roses or carnations upside down from your chandelier.
If you don't own a chandelier or have a proper dining nook, consider using ribbons, ornaments and other knickknacks to enhance other spaces in your home. Suspend paper hearts from the top of a large bay window, or fill transparent lamp bases with silver tinsel and pink and white colored balls to accent your living area. If you have an antique ladder made of wood, hang pretty jewels and Valentine's Day baubles from every other step, and lean it against the wall in a spacious bathroom or bedroom.
9: Create a Unique Flower Arrangement
Every February, it's common to see carnations and roses in shades of red, pink and white almost everywhere you turn. But we advise decorating your home with unexpected, fresh flowers like lilies, orchids and ranunculus, and arranging them in floral containers that make a bold statement.
Traditional glass vases are simple and ordinary. Instead, search boutiques and antique markets for milk glass, bowls, tin pitchers, sea glass vases or unique glass tumblers that will highlight flowers' colors and blossoms.
If you're hosting a Valentine's Day dinner, fill clear vases with red and pink candies and conversation hearts. Carefully push the candy to the outside of each vase, and insert fresh tulips or pink hydrangeas in the middle to create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece. Dress up an ordinary round dining room table by gathering several small vases and filling them with daisies, peonies or tea roses. In the center of your table, arrange the vases in the shape of a heart. For an even bigger statement, dip the petals of select flowers in glue, and drizzle glitter over the edges to dazzle your dinner guests.
8: String Sentimental Garland
The mantle is the focal point of most living rooms, so why not dress it up for the most romantic day of the year? There are an infinite number of ways to craft the perfect strand of garland; use your imagination, grab your best scissors and tube of cement glue, and get to work!
If you prefer traditional mantle decor, you may want to attach fresh fruit and cut flowers to greenery purchased from your florist. To create a classic look, cut doilies from colored paper, or collect vintage Valentines to hang from the garland. Attach decorations to a string of twinkling white, pink or red lights to give your living area a warm, romantic glow.
Make your own strand of garland from scratch for homemade flair. Using recycled sheet music or scrapbook paper, stencil and cut out letters to spell out a message of love. (We like "You're the Inspiration" and "Love of My Life.") String together the words as a garland for your mantle, Valentine's Day tree, bedroom headboard or a significant doorway in your home. If you own a collection of Valentine's Day cards from years past, attach them to a long piece of ribbon to create a strand of garland that serves as a reminder of all the people in your life who love you.
7: Display Candy in Jars as Art
We're surrounded by enormous displays of candy at the grocery store in the days leading up to Valentine's Day, but have you ever thought about decorating with it? Candy hearts, red cinnamon dots, and red, pink and white candy corn can lend the colors of the season to your décor scheme. Buy festively colored candies, and collect several sizes of apothecary jars with lids at your local craft shop or discount department store. Fill each jar with wrapped chocolates, red licorice or jelly beans for a stunning windowsill or kitchen counter display that the whole family will enjoy.
While candies in artful jars are nice to look at, we know it's hard to resist the lure to devour it all! We're not asking you to destroy your New Year's resolution for the sake of holiday décor. Why not throw a Valentine's Day celebration for all of your friends and family and ask guests help you finish the treats? The day of the party, move the candy jars to your dining room table with the rest of the refreshments, and place a scoop spoon in each jar so guests can nosh on candy at the party. As they leave, offer them goodie bags full of their favorite sweets to enjoy long after the party is over.
6: Hang Valentines on a Tree
There's no rule of decorating that says trees are to be used only at Christmastime. Break out your favorite artificial tree, and decorate it to the nines with Valentines; candy ornaments; or red, pink, silver and white glass balls. If you don't own a faux tree, use any other tree you like. Some retailers sell trees specifically designed to hold greeting cards, and antiques dealers sell red and silver aluminum and tinsel trees that sparkle in the sunlight. Erect your tree securely in an urn or metal tub, or sew a tree skirt from a Valentine's Day tablecloth to hide the tree stand. For an organic alternative, try cutting several thick branches from a tree in your backyard, and arrange them in your favorite tall vase. String white, pink or red lights around the branches, and use a stuffed pair of white doves as a festive topper.
Whatever kind of tree you choose to display in your home, decorate it to your individual style. Clip Valentine's Day cards to your tree, or hang photos of loved ones from limbs as a tribute to friends and family members. Turn antique brooches and pins into flashy ornaments, and bedazzle a space in your home. Gather children together for an afternoon of crafts, and make handmade ornaments using decorative papers, lace, rhinestones and feathers. Wrapped candies can also serve as tree décor; if your tree is large, tuck small boxes of chocolates in thick branches and give them away as presents as Valentine's Day approaches.
5: Add Flair to Plain Candles
Candles are popular décor for Valentine's Day celebrations; they lend a soft light to a room or dinner table, creating a romantic atmosphere. Plain white candles are a bore, so this year, get creative with your candle displays.
To brighten a space, cut doilies from different stencils on paper sacks, and use them as luminaries in your home. Line up the paper bags, nestle a lit candle in a pile of kitty litter or sand inside each sack, and turn off the lights to set the mood. Allow the soft glow of the luminaries to guide your beau to the dining nook for a special, private dinner date.
For even prettier candles to display on tables and countertops, craft your own! Visit an art supply store and search for items that will enhance your everyday candles, giving them some pizzazz. Tie bright ribbons around candles in a neat bow, and seal each with a cupid charm or wooden heart. Arrange several large cylinder vases on the dining room table, and fill the space around them with an inch of candy, sprinkles or dried red beans. Sit candles of various sizes in the center of each vase for a bright, colorful display. Tired of centerpieces consisting completely of vases and candles? Try pouring water into a shallow dish, and cut amaryllis or roses right below the blooms. Arrange the flowers around the base of tall, thin candles for a unique, elegant table design.
4: Do-it-yourself Bath Soap
Bath soaps are useful Valentine's Day decorations that lend color to your bathroom, and handmade soaps can serve as a thoughtful hostess gift or present as well. Vanilla and almond is a popular soap scent, and the recipes for homemade soaps are available online and in crafting guides. We like vanilla and almond soap made with crushed almonds (for great texture) and vanilla fragrance oil (for an authentic scent). When making homemade soap for Valentine's Day, consider using a heart-shaped mold.
Felted soaps are another great DIY project that friends and family will love, but you might like the bristly texture so much that you'll want to keep a couple of bars for yourself. Purchase felt (also known as roving), and wrap bars of homemade soap in the wool-like material while dunking them in a bowl of water. As the soap is immersed in water, form the roving around the bar and cover it completely. Set each bar on a baking rack to dry, and display the finished soaps in large jars in your bathroom or give them to friends in drawstring bags sprinkled with glitter.
3: Display Keepsakes in a Shadow Box
Shadow boxes offer a great way to display collections, trinkets and photos together in one place, preserving keepsakes and protecting them from damage. Craft shops and department stores sometimes sell finished shadow boxes with sturdy glass doors, but if you have a screwdriver, saw and wood, you can make your own shadow box at home. Displaying a shadow box to hold your Valentine's Day photos, cards and jewelry isn't just an exceptional piece of home décor, it's also a simple project that you can accomplish in just one afternoon.
To make your own shadow box, saw pine wood to a desired size, and cut a piece of plywood to fit the back of the box. Use screws to attach the pieces together with your screwdriver, or if you prefer a hammer and nails, use these tools instead. Create compartments from smaller pieces of wood, and glue the edges together inside the box, or you can skip this step if you want a larger display space. Use paper, velvet or another fancy fabric as a background, and paint the frame a romantic shade of red. Fill the shadow box with old photos of family and friends, love notes and dried rose petals.
2: Spruce up a Plain Wreath
Hanging a wreath is one of the first ideas that come to mind when you're planning to decorate for any holiday throughout the year. Dress up your front door with a Valentine's Day wreath made of lollipops, wrapped candies and a big, red bow. Collect Valentines, cupid figurines or even a collection of old, mismatched buttons, and attach them to your wreath. Reuse silver Christmas ornaments, and hot glue them to a round foam mold until it's completely covered in shiny, glass pieces. Keep these fragile wreaths indoors; we like them displayed over a bed or on the mantle.
If a feather wreath is more your style, scour craft stores or online auction sites for peacock, ostrich or dyed pink, red and white feathers. Straw wreaths serve as a sturdy base and allow you to push and pull feathers through nooks and crannies, keeping feathers in place. As you layer the feathers, glue larger pieces flat, and cover with several layers of feathers until you achieve a desired look. Attach decorative birds in pairs around your feather wreath to symbolize love birds as a final touch.
1: Flank Your Entryway With Topiaries
A pair of large topiaries makes a charming decoration to set on either side of your front door, and smaller versions look nice on a mantle, dining room table or bathroom counter. While topiaries consisting of foliage require watering and regular trimmings and demand plenty of attention to thrive, faux topiaries are just as beautiful and require absolutely no upkeep. For a fun afternoon project, create your very own artificial topiaries adorned with Valentine's Day candy hearts, imitation rose petals or chocolates in brown wrapping cups in just a few simple steps.
To begin, choose a dowel rod and planting pot or container with balanced proportions. If you want a pot that reflects a Valentine's Day theme, decorate containers with painted hearts or pink and red rhinestones. You may also choose a Valentine's Day mug or bowl to serve as the topiary foundation. Cut foam to fill the base of your topiary, and anchor the dowel rod in the center. For extra sturdiness, glue the foam to the inside of your container. Top the dowel with a round ball of foam. Then, decorate the foam ball with candy, artificial flowers or wrapped lollipops, attaching décor with pins or hot glue. When you're finished, tie a nice, neat bow with curly ribbon tails on the dowel rod to complete your topiary.
Lots More Information
- 5 Valentine's Day Table Settings
- 5 Decadent Valentine's Day Desserts
- Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids
- Valentine's Day Cards for Kids
- Better Homes and Gardens. “Heart-to-Heart Decorating.” (Jan. 7, 2010). http://www.bhg.com/holidays/valentines-day/decorating/heart-decorating/
- Better Homes and Gardens. “Simply Handcrafted Valentine's Day Décor.” (Jan. 7, 2010). http://www.bhg.com/holidays/valentines-day/decorating/hand-crafted-valentines-day-decor/
- Copeland, Blythe. “How to Make Organic Soap at Home.” Planet Green. Sept. 23, 2008. (Jan. 6, 2010). http://planetgreen.discovery.com/fashion-beauty/homemade-organic-soap.html
- Martha Stewart. “Valentine's Day Crafts and Decorations.” (Jan. 7, 2010). http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/valentines-day-decor#slide_4
- Martha Stewart. “Valentine's Day Flowers and Centerpieces.” (Jan. 6, 2010)Valentine's Day Flowers and Centerpieces. http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/entertaining-ideas-for-valentines-day